Bay Area County Leaders Looking to Encourage, Enforce Mask Mandate

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With COVID-19 cases on the rise in the Bay Area, some county leaders are looking for new ways to encourage people to wear mandated face coverings in public.

In San Mateo County, the board of supervisors voted to launch an educational campaign that includes billboard messages.

“We might have to take a next step moving forward in terms of maybe looking at a potential  fine structure, but we will move forward with the education piece,” said Supervisor David Canepa. 

In Contra Costa County, the health officer updated masks rules Tuesday. Businesses that are open must now make sure workers and volunteers cover their face, and if a customer refuses to wear a mask, they are not supposed to serve them or allow them inside.

At the Fourth Bore Taproom and Grill  in Orinda, the owner said while most people cover their face, the mandate to refuse service will eliminate any debate.  

"Certainly helps us if we have to push back if they have an issue they can contact the county like they would for if they had a complaint about anything," said Michael Karp from the Fourth Bore.

Contra Costa County is also requiring people who can't wear a mask due to a medical condition to wear a face shield in public.

“At the end of the day, if we don't have masks on, and we don’t have our people protected, those businesses cannot exist,” said Alamo resident Michael Rubsaman.

Most hope people comply so reopening plans can move forward.

“Just wear a mask, make it easy,” said Jonathan Williams from Fourth Bore. “Everyone cooperate, and everything will open faster.”

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